« WTF with Marc Maron Podcast

Episode 691 - Todd Rundgren

2016-03-21 | 🔗
If you look at Todd Rundgren’s body of work, you might think it’s the product of a dozen different people in various fields of the music industry. But it’s just one guy. Todd talks with Marc about his many projects, including his own music and his work with The Band, Meat Loaf, XTC, and others. Plus, Todd explains how he came up with Bang the Drum All Day quite literally in his sleep.

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
The alright. Let's do this, how are you what the bloggers, what the fuck buddies, what the protesters, what the fuck snakes, what the fuck wads what's happening? What the fuck bucket doubt mark marines instability up my podcast thanks for coming by thanks Stick me in your head, thank you for taking me and wherever you may be in a cave under the ground. todd run guarantees on the show today todd rangoon who I've known all my life just by virtue. of seeing his albums my entire life. I know his face I know a guy can identify him all my life. I think, since I've been cod, And of working your records, I've known, todd run grins face.
And I don't know that I really connected with his music and all we are not long ago, because how did I get to it run garden, is one these guys. It look, I know, he's a genius. I know he's made a million fuckin record. They just released a box at last. of all the bears. Go records he's also on tour eyes. Taking a tour making a tour doing it all over the country. In Canada you gotta todd dash, wrung green dot com device. Where is point, but it was one those situations where in this has happened, a lot on the show most people, whether you may know a couple of times hits but a lot of viewers furtive hung up. not you, but I'm sure you ve heard that live tyler grew up with him as a father. Basically because Todd was with the was mother baby buell, I believe surname.
leave tyler kind of checked out on that front. I guess I don't even know the story, but I will tell you right now: I wasn't todd run grinned about that. You can go for that kind of cultural did Right is dialogue elsewhere I wanted about the genius I wanted to learn because I give up intimidated some of you know this, but you I don't. Have the power, Look anybody! I want. I like, when youth. Whom I do, but I dont somebody born available. Sometimes you gotta find time window. Some people don't want to, and then some people are offered some people are are presented. that want to do the shown todd run was one those people and we had an booked and I rescheduled it
Or a kind of blue at offer or pushed it up a bit because I felt insecure about my knowledge of todd run when you looking at somebody, that's gotta career that spans almost fifty years with his music and with production in with the in knowing that there are full, Todd run grinned nerds out there. I that's what always it too. Minutes me when I have the opportunity to interview. Somebody with a massive, a massive careers that I just assume young people are gonna, be out there go I've got. How could you not talk about that time? He broke his toe in woodstock. because he was running from angry guitar player. You know you made that up. Why didn't you talk about the two notes that he took out of the thing like I have a serious people I make up in my head, and there is always the one voice
one of the guys I make up in my head in relation to anybody item He was the guy that knows everything about him. Even the most esoteric nuance stuff in the the there's waitin to call me out then do a good job didn't bring up as the soundtrack. P. We play house, I didn't know at the done some research, I don't know. Maybe I just one talk to the gang learn about him: go expire into myself. That's what I do well have somebody that has a career spanning the amount of time that Todd has is that That means I have to enter the world. You know I simply and and fill my head up and try to understand them I wasn't a lifelong fan had soared our time with his music. Isn't it didn't necessarily resonate with me by you know you look. Some of the records you most guys definitely touched, It's definitely genius
but you might not be my genius but it doesn't mean I'm not interested so one eye, rather what I know what I can know. listening to the records of from tidbits here and there? And I relied on a friend to the show Mr Paul Myers, who wrote a pretty thorough book about todd in the studio. It's called a wizard, a true our todd run grown in the studio. It is the book, On tat run grins studio work, so I email? Pollen? Unlike dude Do I start man. So we got me on it and the first time that I became sort of fastened with todd, and I picked up one of record that he's records or was because this else, brothers, huntin tony hunter Iver interviewed who were Third, the offspring of super sales, but hunt is one the great drummers when the great rock drummers
is his brother. One of the great wrought basis played a bit with thumb, Todd and with eighty pop. Unless for life and with both we and the tin machine in and when I talked to one hundred, he said that he was playing with todd when he was eighteen years old, seventeen years old, so I became sort of fascinated with Todd. Then I listen to those records and I did what I could buy. but I wanted to. I wanted to talk to him, wanted to learn from him and justice. Gauging that it's always amazing to me that when I'm in the cure about an interview in that usually happens when they have amazingly long careers in and are incredibly pullet prolific or have created a lot of great stuff I just know that I'm I'm not gonna miss I think so. I overcompensate and I talk for a really long time. and then I really learned some stuff. So that's that's coming up here.
you're gonna, hear me talk to the wizard himself todd rangoon, who I great stories and oh I stuff that it in terms of the history of music and the music that I that I do with it enjoy that I didn't know, and it was. It- was great- and an he some he's gotta a, in man, the buzz soap, Let me just a in the trouble with the buzz, might might my phone no fuck? When I talk about this, it so stupid. But it's you know it's it's I get obsessed with this stuff because I'd I dont. The deal with my you know: pending mortality and the terror of meaninglessness. So I'm into the buzz situation. I situation. I talked about building a faraday box, which is an insulated, age, usually with grounded copper or something theirs.
different variations on that. You prove you put over the piece of equipment or overall, your equipment, so it'll fight off these these interests, of electromagnetic waves from cell towers. Well, here's here's the here's, the rocks here's the rub. Here's what found out. All the trouble shooting. I Goodnight thought that now I died and I'd women to the wires because I brought my receiver down the hall to Brien's office we plugged in their god, no buzz. I brought his amplifier photo album. are down to my office and the buzz was there, so that means buzz was on four different pieces of equipment that I Take it out. Anyone in my office, so I figure be the plugs gotta, be the electrical system. Now, there's this mysterious door down the hallway. That's why keep out don't open sky card lock on it, and all I know is that there's a t and t equipment in there, but I know what that meant thought there was I'd heard. There was an eighty anti and ten on top of the building, but I thought that was
the building wifi. I wasn't thinking so what happens when I learned is that it's not a wifi antenna. Eighty anti actually rents space in that building, both in that hallway and on the roof for a fucking el tower. There's a fucking el tower on the roof and my building. And what learned from the electrician, who I had come over all of the technological and mechanical in structure of the cell tower is situated behind a fake brick wall Reckless, on top of my office, so I am being bathed with waves, all the time and no piece of equipment can stand up to the pummeling of these waves, no phone or pre amp is in waited enough to not share with me and whoever is listening. The horrible frequency of
people making calls everywhere in this area. So what do I do? I don't fucking, I talk to my landlord sheet. the thing there anymore, I gotta talk to eighteen. Some guy said you know just a file, a complaint with the fcc man. They're not allowed to interfere with your shit, then the other side of it is. I got people that say well, maybe just listen to you know, you're on your ipod or your phone and just plug it into give jam. Boxer sounds like no No, I don't want to lay down because corps intrusion? causing me a slight inconvenience that find annoying It's my right to have freedom, since my records and not just bow down to the odd mobile sized infrastructure of fucking I find network on top drawer. we on top, and what's it doing to my brain, I don't Probably not the! Maybe I don't know I don't
Well, you know I've thought it was really peaceful in there. Maybe that's got I'm gonna. Do that, maybe maybe I shouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth. Is that how that saying goes any way all? in four is that it may be a david and goliath story. In goliath? Not their cremation. An idea, of course, will play the part of david, who you only armed with a certain amount of disappointment and anger is going to fight the waves that run the world. What else do I gotta real, quick, o daniel Klaus, who the huge, for you may know him from the eight ball comic books. Or ghost world com. Graphic novel were several other great pieces of comic art has released a book called patience. Is graphic novel, which I enjoyed a great deal and going to have him on the show soon we're here up soon sound? I just want to tell you that patients, the new graphic novel by
your clauses out and its great okay so Watch me learn: don't me. Listen to me, you learn from a true wizard todd run, grin todd, wrong grids here, you're here at the garage. Where were you today, Well, I got in verona early this morning from quite where I live. You have inquired the whole time, I can live there, yeah We women having this discussion all day on which some have been spending on the road. manager even having that discussion and in this discussion is that, like how much work more dates. Can I do or is it like? I do. I gotta keep doing dates: nuts tom, states? Can I do for or less mean when you live require you want to spend the least some time at home, knives
I've gone there that the only place in hawaii I've been I've, been there like two or three times while cause? You know, I meet people all the time they say. Oh I've been to wahoo, Five and now we know never been only co. it will require a honeymoon or something like that. I've taken several different three to four women their backing. Verde flowering is that what you're? So I dont know what it is. I just don't know where to go. I'm sort of an anxious guy. I think I went there at the first wife not for a honeymoon but for vacation? And we also taken within a mite gonna be the go to place. I thought it might be with her for the rest of tat in pan out that way her what the word you stay the first time. The first time was this: the the south on Poohpooh. That was a mistake. Yeah, that's it right. So that's like girl, your hotel room, exactly horrible, but you know it. Ok, we got a condom, then the second time in my nor side nor shore. So I went up up there now. Well, what was the date of your
his visit to our boy. Ninety six, seven, making all gosh so You never had the opportunity to stay at the cocoa palms. No, no, no, wait! I! How long have you been there? While I been, onto the island since seven d, the mid seven is it was at the that there still burned remains of up towards the north shore. There's like out tell that I've seen by two or three times just It looks like it was on the way to nor sure that's the cocoa problems on the left yeah. That was where blue hawaii was filmed. No shit with Elvis so is that the one that's got like are a like a haunted house. Kind of like one that no now it's that is full of black moss and you'll die vigour but it has like another night, it's worse than haunt it's like a right and shall write, but it's their yeah. They keep sending to rebuild it. Does another consortiums as a gonna rebuild it'll, never be what it used to be because it had to just the perfect amount of tack near to it, but it was like everything you thought about cause. He saw blue hawaii
and it was everything you thought about you. When you went to the island right now, you're eating lunch. the lanai while birds come, you know and eat out of your hands and his right next to like now, full, of course, his way around and every evening they have. You know a torch lighting ceremony. A pig is roasted. Oh yeah and the guys in the parades of rohan the little canoes down the canals and everything and it's just like, and if you ever saw blue hawaii, that is kind of reentry, two didn't than right right in gone god? That was the first one I stay the only place I ever stayed until ninety. Ninety three hurricane and Nicky came through and the eye of the hurricane two hundred mile in our winds went right over the island, levelled it I totally leveled it so you were. There may be three years. Three or four years after that, why happen you know at the place, took a real haircut. Well, I mean so, but even gone there since SF
these yeah what the hell was down there in the seventies, nothing I was getting way from an evil girlfriend. Oh yeah, why you took your girls there you ran away. I went there to just get a little respite. as far away as I've. You know what I was living in new york at the time in the city. Is everyone? Do we talk and seventy one seventy two about and seventy three seventy four somebody suggested. You know why don't you know, get our hopes, he's gonna, kill you while now that all that came much later and I was killed her. So where's that song, some things are not meant for publication, really yet two yeah well yeah, there's always time. You know that you know that the the deep dark record- that's when you can't quite sing any more. That's when you do that one Where'd ya, what I'd start? The sound like, whereas use wisdom coming out, yeah right right, dear you're, cholerick ruben, can argue with him about it
Here's the deal with with mean you that is why am I here we want you come. I did com, but I was surprised to be invited what the weird thing is is like I've spent my whole life yo saying I can I gotta get into todd wronger, and how do I start with theirs a lot here How do I start you know and then, like a few years ago, I I started, and I obviously it's it's very difficult because you continue to put out stuff, but that happens and then in a panic, when I knew you were coming damned paul myers and am I do what would it which once what am I You know he already authoritative. We got a guy right well and wrote the by graffiti, while here autobiography, he wrote this. of my productions. Yeah essentially was you know. Each chapter was about a particular record right
that god made and interviewed interview? He interviewed the musicians who were involved in the record anybody else or throw records and stuff so yeah, it's pretty much! It's not gossipy right! It's I mean if there were any significant, you know things going on. Those were certainly related, but otherwise it, It's mostly an insight into the process right. Well, the thing that blew me away is that they, because I have gotten into vinyl again writer, I've got I've, got the the ballad of Todd rundgren I've that one on, while nobody has that really. That was the. That was the lost almah was my second album right. you have. Our solemn came out on what was originally am picks record yeah. What happened in that way? what is well now we're Grossman. You know who was like the uber manager. Oh, let's talk. Let's talk about, let's go, let's go into in sequence and if we're gonna go like this, we're going there yeah exactly so so was I started getting into psych rock. So then somebody me the as and
as my colleague that's todd, wronger unease, Inez, so I'll do you and nazism in existence. I was Eighteen, when we put the band together and how but where are you from where? Where did that half philadelphia? So your failure fairly guy grubbin phil, I did not, up until I grew up in was park, which was in upper darby, the westerly suburb of philadelphia and and I went to upper darby high school near other notable graduates were Jim croce and tina. Faye did you know Jim and jerry o terry graduate of war. I d, I was there the clarity of his much younger than me, so anyway, but when you are, that we're talking to mid sixties, your high school yeah. I graduated in sixty six graduated airports and sixty six So, what's gonna musically billy Philly, that was guy and an arm right? Well, it was sort of an armed, be town because we were right
the mason dixon lot right and so like anything above the mason dixon line. That's the north that young yankee years and as you move below that it gets more questionable until you get into the deep south right and in the deep south rex by black people, were called race records the and they only played on really low wattage stations, no and in rural areas, but in philadelphia. Right on that sir costs, when we had a dj, it is name was jerry blab it and he played nothing but arm be record here. You know everybody else's play a white man. Thick. You know and jerry blab, the jewish guy that is live at the gator with the heater as he's black records he plays all. He plays all the black, he's still alive and he still dj in If you have you, have you met with him, thanked him, never met him and never got to. Thank him. Look over time would you were taken in was at your thing? Well, what we were growing up the idea that was, you know, a thing that
lot of other areas didn't get that didn't get that sort of our be music so that influence yo. That's in me, it's in Darrell hall. It's in the knob, a bunch of people come out of philadelphia and what down? When did you start like what kind of a child were you and what did your dad do? My dad was an engineer. He worked for dupont, oh really, and ah in philadelphia at a big plant there yeah, I'm quiet, I stern guy here while he's he didn't really have a father figure, o his father figure. Was Jackie gleason, ana honeymooners, a child was up, you're right. I ve never really kind of figured out how to deal with the kids have many were there four, oh my god, he knew how to make them. The air, but managing them, was a different store. I e the oldest I'm the all this year. Oh my god, there, everybody still ok.
they're. Still there her. You were never ok, you're, but the others go and outside of philly and stuff still in yeah in the philadelphia area. But when did you start like here's? Here's the thing I have when I, when I listen to as much of the catalog as I can fit in my head, is that it it becomes sort of difficult to define You know what you do, cause you're singular and I and I guess, good problem to have, but, like I dont like I don't. I don't even know what to call it. I know that use bond a lot of like when he said how an author darrow, how it feels to me that Without you, there be no him now. Ok, I worked on their on holiday, stirred up, ok and up until their third album and through the third album there
eclectic ban there. You know you think of him. Now is the all those kind of white blue, eyed soul, yeah he had after head after hit right for that there are much more sort of. There were still trying to figure out. You know all what they wanted to do out of all the possibility, so the first album, which was called whole oats, almost had a like an acoustic sound to say it. One called abandoned lunch and I had this whole variety of songs and you have listened to. The vital saw you. Wouldn't you wouldn't even know who was singing the rights, so real identity as a as well, no just so different from what people now associate with rhinos
then they were still kind of in that mode where we did war babies. But at that point you no doubt was starting to think a little more conceptually. Can all you wanted to capture and era. He also wanted to push the envelope. You know too experimental, but more david bowe. He was a big influence. You know because he was doing all of this kind of. It's hard to explain that have years hard to explain what I mean. Is that what you are we talking while we're think it's a little after zig start, ok yards pass the science fiction. Thank you right If you have an influence on you as well. I I always thought he was an interesting art, but I never accept for particular things that he did right. I never got into his process, which was essentially just try to stay
the tipp of whatever's, hip, right or or a little ahead of it if possible a little ahead of it as possible, but Never really you never write songs about yourself. Write, write, songs about things that sometimes don't even make any sense your you know your users process him and eno use it process sometimes or they just pull the clippings of books and magazines out of a hat. That will be the next line and the lyric right to get because lyrics is so hard to write, but also of- the kind artists who is constantly building artifice. In other words, you yourself are the art, peace right away. you don't write songs about your real self right, you're, creating us than yellow an image for people on your right side, That image. Will you I I? On the other hand, I I imagined, but I've I've gotten this wrong with songwriters before, but you I I when I Cindy your music specially the earlier stuff. It seems
heavy hearted, and and in a little painful. Are you about yourself throughout, like while in those early years you know my first three album. I was learning how to be a songwriter right and I was learning how to sing. I already knew kind of how to be a producer, will how okay? Well, let's get back to that? When did you start playing all these instruments? Well, we started playing other instruments like in the nas, but what was your first? Whereas a kid would you start on? I started on wealth if you want to go way back whining, while they you know in those days they offered music lessons in school right. You know it wasn't like they had. You know a great music department, but people will go around from school to school yeah and they had a you could rent cement and some will come and give you some lessons on an instrument yeah, ideally to teach you better, read: music as well right in the first instrument that I actually think seriously tried to play was a flute really yeah your choice,
I just like the sound of it. You know my dad didn't like a lot of pop music in the house who we heard a whole lot of symphonic music, all the time yeah. So, did you like it what that means you have. You can hear that in other records, yeah layers, of all that stuff. I love you know. I love a ban like milk banana. You know like that. They get a japanese trio that Finally, I also want to write a around I'll write down. I'll make note they got the girl singer and a guy guitar player mir with a bunch of whole bunch of pedals near and a drummer ray, and they just torture everything out of their instruments that they can during these performances. You know you can't believe how much they are bad at what this girls doing to real voice and how crazy the drummer is he's like Keith moon times too.
I know the guitar player is doing everything possible. Yo with pedals and yeah and switches and stuff like that and grading is loops on the fly in its just it's amazing and it makes no sense in that's good yeah. It's pop music. You have very now what it's like in a part of music has always been. We ve gone through this and tyre illusory period since edison discovered how to record sound illusory and in what sense well before them You couldn't your musing unless somebody played it for you right right, I am now we re. I come over yeah. Now we got able to capture the performance of the. round of the performance right. You know- and we really perfected, that over one hundred years or so in a hundred or more years who perfect, sometimes whatever by that people have lost the idea of the difference between like the performance, which is always a match.
All the technology disappear her right now ya. Tomorrow, he added to what musicians going back. Doing. They gonna learn to get better at play right right right of like that. So that's. That's the under layer. That was always there. This whole thing about you know the recorded artifact right has not really come into full perspective, yet know who I am he had just because, as you know, there is a performance and I am times it is never perform its right to construct of sound right. What you ve done a lot. I wish I'd do yeah where they were reform live clearly, yes, and I also enjoy performing live here. and I realize that that's view-
stop doing that, you take most of the joy out of making the music uh huh yeah. That makes you know, and it doesn't mean you can't perform in the studio, but that's the hardest part of all, because you don't have an audience they're right and when you're producing records for other people, it's the hardest thing to get in their head. You know right, don't look at that as a microphone, What do you look at? It is supposed to be the ear of the listener aurelia, so you'd start on food. then, where everywhere yeah my sister decides. She would take clarinet lessons, but he here sock than I got better out of that she didn't know you're, not a play like two strangers on the shore on the clarinet night chaffed my dad as you know, that's when they started and realise- and maybe I had some musical tell her so they did buy me. They guitar lessons that I really wanted when the ventures came out with walked, don't run right, of course, I set up guitar, yet I want to do now. So then you get a guitar and your jam and in its sixties and its time
yeah. Eventually I get a real guitar. Actually I had the crappy guitars until, but I did have a band played a little bit while I was still in highschool actually made. Some covers rear pocket change. Now all covers yeah, you know all covers, but that was when we also started to incorporate a lot of blues into what we were. Did you like playing boys? Ah, I did I like listening to it and playing it. You know and we're blues guys. Well in those days of course, there were the the old masters, Sonny boy williams, yeah and, of course, young and muddy wolf. Ah, oh, oh, oh junior, wells, yea and buddy guy and buddy guy world's longest guitar chord yeah. Are you listening to that butterfield band yet or they were around when I was yeah butterfield band, they can, I think their album came out sixty five or something like that, and then we said suddenly a white guys were playing
blues, all right, yeah just before the english guys, yeah. Now the english I had already done that or they had Whole thing was in england there this murder, in semen tradition you know and and a lot of towns, especially places like liverpool have like that merchant seaman would just go back and forth to mobile. right now to the port cities yet south yet go by like singles in the little record jobs. Yet if we add yet and bring back all this blues music to england, none of it was getting played. Merk yeah know I talked to me all about that. You'd have to wait for it. Like you know, we have to wait till the one guy who got those records got those exactly some merchants, seemingly having loads of all the kids home. Will love this. You buy a bunch of singles, come back to liver, Oh, you know, Suddenly, all those kids are planned this music and we don't find out about it till the yard, but play, I'm a man right, yeah right down the river.
we'll states down from you exact I just love the mason dixon line it could have driven there. You know it's so weird to think about that. That sort of, like the spice trade that you know like you, know the world in certain places cinnamon until some brought it over on a boat. But you don't think about the blues being like that, but, as was like when I would organise the interesting part of it as was so close and yet had they go so far, you know to get back. So how did Emily work? Did you do it? The nas We did in actuality too. We did a wu album and there he did. What was intended to be a double album of the label was not happy with the double album concept, so one album came out and then after that horrible left, overs album came out and you were riding over songs, pretty much yeah. That was part of the problem. Why I. I suddenly got smitten by laura nero eli in the thirteenth confession, came out and totally like yeah.
Rock my world. Your whole way of thinking in it yeah about music and you know, and up and up until that you're writing for the group you're in this was like holy crap. What about it? Is girls, like nineteen years old yeah, you know and she is writing and singing like yeah. You know Angie was fifty now and yes, she was like you know a star overnight, but she didn't know how to manage her career very well right, but kind of what happened. While I was still in the as like arranged for got my manager to arrange to for me to meet her. It was in albert Grossman, yet was it ah? No, it wasn't there as the manager of the nassau cabinet as an hvac guy. Doing the one guy, I thought
and so you meet or near as I meet lauren era go up to her apartment, which is in the dakota really yeah, and she makes tuna fish casserole is the only thing she knows how to make because she's a kid in a way, still pretty young. Also its name of republishing company tuna, fish music. She loved it. Yeah amazing tuna, fish casserole I was just really nervous the whole time, though only expecting at this encounter enough I just wanted a meter to maybe get some reflected right. Inspiration or whatever figure out how she did, what she did and did you. She called me like a week or two later to come, visit her again yeah. So I went to visit her and she said: would you like to be my band leader and then, as it just hurts, wrecker can acting and I'm thinking, geez I'd love to be your band leader?
but I have to do this thing with his bare, but the upshot was. I started. Writing all these laura nero socks for her if we now making them that we are all laura near proposal that zero. In the end, I just didn't mix where I was. regional where the fellow now I started writing everything on the piano yad point before they wrote most everything on the guitar right and I mean even hello. It's me: the first song I ever wrote was written on a guitar before I ever figured out a plan on a piano yeah, so yeah it just did with the other. Guys are like what the fuck is. There kind of. What do we do when we will guide where's the rock and roll china so we got a rock them up a little bit more but they're not enthusiasm over it with mobile. Is it because you have a very specific sound? There are certain progressions at you. I too user, certain cords you like to use and in what? What was it about
I imagine that all tracks back to that moment with lower nero that there was a there, was a tone to it. What what was it essentially that change for you in a moment what opened up well In a broader sense, you know who I was the personal nature, the music right here that you know she was really sort of pouring out her soul, ivory performance, and that was something that was sort of rare, generally yeah and music yep ill melt. Most artists, I think, of artists, as being you know, into general categories, yet one is that they are revelatory. You know, in other words, you get the idea that there really singing? They really believe what the singing yeah yeah, yeah and the others are like up piscatory.
If it were and we'd like David Bowe, euro somebody's like you, creating an image while you don't want that image to cracks right can be revealing too much of something that isn't that image right. But at some point you, you entered a phase of stagecraft. That certainly was large, well yeah, that you could call out- and maybe even a third category, which as you know, a I'm showing too much of myself. I have better products, am I know it is no, it is, is when you start thinking in an actual theatrical terms, and you write for that moment. Oh okay, you write for the state. Right right, you know like your writing. A musical is something we are that and so you trying to figure out. What's the use unify theme here. If there is one that stuttering, how hats our concept
problems on the tours that follow them are bill theatre. Some exactly! You knows our unifying theme. First of all, you know yeah to play off of. Does it involve costume? yeah. I heard that involve special effects, yeah things like that. We could totally deauville into that when we could offer so I went still will but does ahead because first records see them as as whole pieces all of them. Now now my my very first riker was a total pastiche. This was curious about how so run and The one I have the runt, the ballad of todd rundgren and I guess like the the album after that, was something that was a big record. That was like two to wreck double record. That was a double album and had like three hit singles off of it, and it was like a that was a concept record. Wasn't it Well, the only concept initially was that I was going to play all the instruments myself, which I had not previously attempted to do, but that it would that take a two years to make know. Ah, then, you played all night played
well, except for the last side on the left side, those are all live tracks, like the something anything that everyone's familiar with. That was a live session that I called the morning. We did three songs that day. Yeah why? Why did you decide to do that? Just run out of steam or no? I had already gone over the single album limit yeah. I really had I meant to have real. I do I would want to do for It's in the area of justice a or do I want to do something. That's like! Oh, the good old days right, good old days being like before you ever got a record contract right. You got demo time in a label studio. In those days there were those very few independent studios. You wanted to demo for a label. You had to go into their studio, so he had to do this over and over and over again till you got signed, but you got like an hour. Maybe even last half hour got an hour within.
Junior records, many songs, as you can in an hour, and you do them all live right, there's no over dubbing. Now I know of no, we don't overdone you're only going to track anyway, yeah that'll. Take me citing, isn't it norway, whereas yes brings a whole lot. tension. Yeah yeah yeah that in a way makes can make a better record and, and who are three was huge, was huge? Song did become huge. It was like the second version of it, though, cause the flip side of open my eyes. The first nas single was hello. It's me done at a dirty pace with me. Vibes. Instead, it gets wow and that's all difference on all other thing. You ended that song did you feel that we like them with three that became the huge it was I who were you did. You feel, like you d, find us I that point: no, it was nonplussed you the other had they were on mazato level? I was the first to right how it's me
and I think it wouldn't have made any difference- was a lesser hit right, but it was a big record. so now there was a grey record as a matter of fact it when the whole lot of very interesting doors, for me is that we're grossman comes all my solo arms are under the Grossman regime and he was a kid to write that guy? Oh yeah, you look like Ben franklin right, manage hooty manage dylan by as the ban it bears like every signet voting. It significant folk at the end point, because the other club in Chicago called the gate of horn. It is a regionally or restaurant tour, the decided he would put on these folk acts at any time you saw somebody likely sign them off to a management contract,
right which they never got: outta, whoever yeah but yeah. By the time I met him. The nas there were there was a partner in the management like a junior partner and he went on to work with albert Grossman and after that, as woke up, I was on the street. I was living with clothiers in the west village, people that I used to buy clothes from when I was in the net. I wound up living with them. I design lights in a club. I was doing anything near a twenty two, the less mere yeah. No, that would be about twenty yeah and ah- and this guy approach me he said you know, like I watched you do that
action in the mixing on the last nas, album you'd think you might have some talent here so come to the Grossman organization and help us modernize all these folk acts. Ah so that was years ago, I started putting maya with the Ian and sylvia James cotton and you know of butterfield band and stuff, like that, you know just in the booth, yeah yeah, essentially yeah, I did to jesse winchester elm. I did stage fright. I did Laos Try, though, that's just in housetop did you. I won't guys the ban that will a really those guys were very very experienced- and I was right? You know they had already been like the hawks Ronnie already The idea and yellow played probably like forever doing there with him. As when you walk down we're. U I holy shit. Now I was not ok, I mean
I I I think we got along. They were sort of like you know they found me. You know amusing in certain ways, but also I got things done. You know I exuded a certain confidence about what I was doing, which always sells yeah and you find that you did you when you listen to that record, can you identify your sound as a producer now, and I was I was not a producer. There was no producer on stage fright near they were cut a scrupulous about the euro just making I did all those recording and yeah and mixing and enduring- and after that I did, I was in england and I helped helped to mix the albert hall showed that they did their so and then I had the honour to all my foresaw. Album leave on and rick dank, oh yeah did a song yeah for me
That was the desire to get along. I got along with all those guys, animal internal dynamic that was so tense. Anyway, a lot of attention about the fact that the robbie wrote everything right and therefore on the publishing to everything right, and so they kind of felled, sometimes like side men to Robbie slang. I never really got into the I'd. Never thankfully had to get into the details of that. But I that that was kind of right. A constant source of attention so then uttering that during this session there was it got very hot. It was hurting her feelings, It was trying to get everyone all at their instruments and ready and in the mood to do a take, seem to take most of the time most of the time,
and was not spent doing today, it was getting everyone pillar instrument that do well. He gathered a lot of things you know would in pitch yeah yeah, yeah yeah one is that wasn't like we likely still is arkell, so he would just fall asleep at some point even in the middle of a song Leave on, unfortunately, was involved with opiates and stuff like I, he tried to do a take. We're looking outwards doing where the written woodstock theatre right and we if I leave on our attitude taken by liam finally find him under a pile of curtains- where a fast asleep here we do so no one day and richer doesn't show up, whereas richard dominoes editors it richard apparently, is spent the night with his in his car, knows, face down in a culvert all night long. They
had issues. So that's how you got into that with Grossman, but that's kind of like you know your character are characterized as them. You know yeah you kind of channel those issues and music ultimately and that's the job of a producer. Ultimately, but as I say, I was to produce. I didn't, I know what you this. I did not have the authority to say: hey, let's get together, he's a play on leiva. Come on guys. Can we just the aid, I idea I had. Apparently I don't remember literally what I did, but I could be very yeah, sarcastic and neatly and such like that I will. However, they all get angry with me, because at one point I referred to garth is an old man, a ha ha because relativism me was but or I after okay. So that's the that's how you got in with gross parents or what happened. What were these opportunities that open up for you after you did? Do you know the big one, something anything you were about to say like a lot of doors open? Well this
essentially what characterized my output right from that point on and why it is so difficult for you to absorb right. Ok, because glowing throw my question. The abbe cause I was making more money is a producer than most people make as an artist. Ok, at that point I had done bed finger. I was doing grand funk, railroad, funk, yeah, oh yes I did meet love set out how right yeah as a big record. It was a very large. The big boy they record yeah. We're still pretty large the ashley that, ironically enough guys friends. We never see each other boys went out effort but see you and him specifically by our village, we were never closed right thankful. so you're here by the label after something anything. No, no, I guess it actually wrong. Ok,
I'm just thrown by lying out. I assume nothing now made love and Jim Timon essentially came to me after they had a demo for everybody in the business, and nobody could figure out what to do with his big fat guy with the overly long song and the guy we're creepy guy with a white hair and the white gloves playing the piano here, but they they rented a demo studio and I came in and they perform most of what turned out to be bad. How live right yet with four people right Simon on the piano, Ria Ellen, fully an rory Dodd on vocals yeah,
and the big guy so anyway, I I watch them. Do this thing yeah, and at that time I could afford really to take on anything okay as long as they was just like sort of a minimal production advanced yet- and I thought this is a spoof of bruce springsteen- this is the ultimate springsteen, spoofs or anything was just starting armies on the cover of time magazine, yeah, yeah and was Springsteen. Do these overwrought overlong songs? You know, so I thought this is like the anti springsteen yeah, it's the same sort of thing, but it's all like taken it to that some other extreme.
yeah and also it's like you, don't look at him and think what a hunk yeah, unless you think whoa yeah, what a hunk of something you know yeah. So I thought that I gotta do this: it's going to be a spoof of bruce Springsteen here and he had a label at the time. Really they just couldn't find a producer ray who was sympathetic to what they were trying to do, and so we are rehearse for two weeks and to put a little icing on the cake. I think we had at least two I'm trying to remember where we have three members of the street band yeah on the record yeah we had Roy
and max weinberg played on the record, so it's kind of light, almost a street band now and we rehearsed for you know like ten days or something like that. You know worked out the arrangements from her. So we could go in the studio, bang it out and the day before we're supposed to come in to the studio. Meatloaf comes to me and says: I don't think my label understands me. I went off my label yeah and I'm not as mad sure. I can't tell us what to do. I I will, if you can do that, but you know we just rehearse or two ways. We already run up and cyril bill on this record reality here and now you want to fire your label yeah. I wound up underwriting the record we I went to bears one said: if you let me use the studio and a few you know pay for the expenses of making this record than you get right. First, refusal on the wreck,
So this means you, you had money in the record to your on the back and as well, especially if they didn't want to take the record. Yet I essentially all of that is my bill to them right. They have to collect all that marine from my future right, residuals of something or other but or they won't give me something right, but if a year, but we finish the record and bears
It doesn't want the record and neither does Warner brothers a distributor of berryville. They decide they don't want to forget no waverly get no disturb yeah. They don't get it yeah, don't get the record shop at everywhere. It takes them like six months. I can't find anyone to put the record out really yet till. Finally, they find this guy steve Popovich, with a little subsidiary of I think was epic records are standing like that cleveland international yeah at one other artists, yeah and ian hunter, the artist yet and for some reason he thought he could make something of the record, and I think, like three things happened at the time that really turned it into what we now remember it being, but it's could have been just not on the ash heap of his rise. Three yeah three things
yeah. One was Steven popovich never gave up on the record, he put out a single, nothing happened, hell I'm putting out another single yeah. He put out three singles before anything ever happen with the record, so he never gave up on the record. Yeah. Second thing that happened was during that whole period. Meatloaf was touring incessantly. Just never came off the road he played anywhere. Anybody would have him yet you know, and people and word of mouth started to happen, but we didn't have social media. They had some sort of word of mouth started happening about this. Big fat guy was running around the stage and he's got this little sexy girl on his leg and that sort of thing you know people say: oh you gotta see this year so that started a habit. Then the third thing that happen, maybe the most significant thing was mtv- came on the air right,
paradise by the dashboard light, was the longest video that they had and just like any other dj. This is where you go: get high yeah yeah you put on dark side of the moon and yet a remark about the idea that come back later it makes. This was the equivalent of right. Seven minutes of. I don't have to do nothing. You know yeah and that's what I think you know kind of pushed it all over the top, and then they re released the other singles and they all became hits and that's big payday for you to ultimately it that was the biggest payday I ever had the rose. I hadn't gotten anything and here's where Albert grossman came in a little handy yeah. He went with me to their management office or their. You know, whoever it was a lawyer, whoever it was who was dealing with their business via and yeah. The record had been selling and I had never been recouped or compensated. So we went to negotiate the terms of that yeah
he negotiated for me more points, then both time and a meat loaf got combines the and the bring a bat about whether the check that I got was just under well by about thirty percent a million dollars yeah and that day I remember that when looking at this check, yeah and counting the digits in it so yeah seriously six digits yeah. Now I have the opportunity to really stupid things with money. Right now for that's what I bought a video stability up after that you're. A creative guy needed equipment need a lot of you know. So how did when you? I think they would explain your output had out. How does that explain your output, the production opportunities, because a mole
the artists when they make a record write or make anything that they make whatever it is, that's intrinsically linked with their economic well being in a sense. In other words, if you don't put out the hit, you don't get the money, you don't get the money, you don't get the power, you don't get a woman. You know it's like it's it's all. They have in a way yeah, I'm making money of other other people's records. Why do I have to think that way when I make my own wreckers yeah? So I'm just out there like musical explore music is like other planets to me you that way, you are able to detached from the pressure of making heads exactly or even honouring the system in a sense the other physical limitations of the you know the disk right, but I'm your let's hear limiting factor, but
when I was a true star. That was exactly my philosophy. I got. I know twenty to thirty minutes, I can put anything on there. I want in with we challenge challenging yourselves: you do you think it was a joke. That was definitely not a joke. You are like now I can really cut loose No, it was like others all the stuff. I figured out, formula to write a pop song in something anything? I realized it appoints a form, yeah? I could do this over and over again I could. I could continually referred to that high school relationship, inspired only if earlier lyrics, even though I'm well beyond that now the air travel now right here. You know, there's other things to think about right. I'll, be ok, gettin lay right. It's not a bad thing that think about, but there are other things to think about. They realize it never bothered to try. Make anything music or turn it
the sound or any ran like that or ice things that are floating in there. We have an eye centrally said. Ok, I think I understand songwriting formula. Now I'm going to destroy That right, I am not going to abide by. That's all running formula drugs, you may I do if I do it, because I'm paying tribute to it in which more aid, sort of way an undercover is in when I, when I sort of r of b and d reality. This is like. this is also my head. This is my influences stuff like this is my aspirations in some way geez. I, like the bailiff sing the stuff. Well, Yeah yeah, you mean you also wanted to de deconstructed entirely and soon ass, my age and at so I became meddling in after you take a more and more and more seriously as regards the thing it gets earlier and sillier it's right, but that, but that wrecked almost like a it's, it's completely progressed in some points where you're almost doing something that that doesn't
inherent sense in a pop music sense. It mind it's almost like. I don't know what, if viewed the comparison would offend you by its also like a zapper record in your own style in some ways certainly not offended, to become to be completed, frank zappa. Where do you see that conflation well, for example, also, you know lawyers in a way tat away. It's kind of it was almost my version of absolutely free right yeah, which was one of my favorite record, it's a real revelation for me. You know where you just threats are throwing musical fragments out. They don't turn into heel. Whole songs, yeah. Some of them are just little transitional elements to another thing: yeah. You know that he did probably more coherently than I did. You know. In other words, he has an overarching message of.
Sarcasm, oh yes, you will call yet no definitely he was cutting, but yet some humor there is a liking. You know on what is it true that while I had some you're, that's the other thing about francs? I like he doesn't my being silly right and he you did a well that, when you're playing with the sounds- and yeah I mean I love being so as part of your young. When you were kid, no really young, a kind of the first time you her music glory, start experiencing music and just nearly spastic response. You have to yeah yeah yeah yeah. It's sometimes you know, you'd like to be able to get back to you notice, some sort of nursery rhyme level, yet yeah just silly things that rhyme yeah, you know, but the kind of things that
you know a naive mind, can find enjoyment in yeah and and and you can do that with music too. So you blew it all apart with that record, but then you sort of reconvergence a bit. And then things sort of split that was after that record, then we sort of officially founded the utopian concept yeah. So I had a band that I played with and then I continued to make solo records, although most of the touring, through that era, era was with the ban? Was our manifesto to the utopian concept yeah. It was kind of this. You know aggressive a collaborative aggressive, musical, exploration again, there were a lot of for us as players. You know when you start to think of yourself as a player. You know you play enough to get kinda good at what you're doing there are these gravitational lymph
whence it yet that come by yell, one of them was my vishnu orchestra. Double your mind, it blew everybody's mind me out just my mind, but we are collectively blown bia and those things do usually is open. You two possibilities. You didn't think so nea playing and modes that you didn't think up before creating melodies that don't have the typical cadences that you're used to and that sort of thing creating textures that are. Hard to pin down in terms of their tonality but add to the right, when Jos avenant puts the ring modulator on the piano, how the hell do you put that in standard notation There's somebody weird harmonic things coming out is always jazz, essentially more so we call is like they call it.
Then we might jazz fusion refuge and rock, but rise all about in old having us jazz chops. After all, John Mclaughlin was a famous jazz musician, ill lotta. The guys that he played with had some reputation before but warrant is known right. Why? I just watch. I had to flee and robert you here and here he produced a documentary on Jacko, which I just saw I didn't know. I dont like I'd! Never registered fusion like I like bebop effusion, just never resonate with me, so I had to go back. You're in the last month and and trade at my brain around whether report and stuff- oh yeah. Well, there's no whenever you here like a and apathy em like fusion right It always conjures up assumptions about what you're about to hear, but these are very vague reference price. You know it's that's the reason why there isn't a word
yeah, john genre, that describes what I'm trying to do. Rather, people will struggle of fine weather. They usually label as all rock, maybe yeah. But the point is owed. Rock is a thing you Why? If anything has basin drums nowadays, yeah? Do you have a problem with it what's going on musically now either people you most or the fine? Whatever you want, but I mean in terms of pop music. Do you feel johnny joy. Listen to the radio yeah we'll have him for a long time now and has a radio anymore velvet deployed around its kind. It's very weird things are it's pretty. Economic nowadays book a lot of it is because of social media and the fact that means travel way faster than they used to use to be literally word of mouth. What before we get to that. So utopia was saying that you created to explore music out any boundaries,
I and personally it was an opportunity for me to be more principally a guitar player. Then singers, writer front man. So that's going on! You know. That's your vacation! Almost that's your your life! It was my vocation. We were playing arenas at that point and we had huge productions with lasers and smoke and That's where I met this guy by your new man right, hence by you still doing the soa records so idea dear dumb, but during the course of that you all this bombast I'll, do now like a hermit of mc hollow many already, eight out of that accidentally. right, but I know that is right. You know just became ahead, but that there was a big big song. Now it's a fan, you saw, it was not a big and we still be friends. I now takes away. Where did a top off? I don't know how In fact I can I shall we find it very dear papa if it made the top forty. I think that, maybe u s, billboard thirty six yeah, ok, that time
It's like I have things that are that people think are hits but they're actually just fan favorites. While I know the song yeah, the you know what I mean like a beetle sign or any other three hours and also you may know a because two other artists recorded at rod steward and robert palmer, both recorded. That saw no wasn't right, swords version. I remember your word right. I mean that's the reason why people, why me People remember a song that only got the thirties, like the song tat. I have. I don't dislike the song you're, just saying you didn't, do it on purpose and that it was more important nub. Not while I'm saying it was, it was not a hit and right usual. So do you think that most of you know the people, because you are a guy that has a specific following of specific audience that stayed with you for many years and and you have these two lives in in there there's something about some of the hits which can be classified as pop
a car or or yo softer rock and utopia is fuckin. You know your space man you're an astronaut. Where do you think you honoured most of what you are known for in terms of an audience? I would say that the larger audience- yes, you terror, utopia, sure right cause. It's alive experience partly at the big show, but we just you know we we got into a certain sweet spot there. You know where the big production and stuff like that many people, stage, usually how many have any people on the way for a really, though we always well. Now the originally we were six remit to keyboards jobs so harlem asia and synthesizer, the authentic. That's what I parliament the also usually six people on stage and we would carry a big heavy sets and set them up every night. You know we designed yellow the state
in a certain way and have you know, people doing or lights knows all very important production and people in those days. I think, appreciated that now it was none too, while production is so intense right at this point right that most people are numb, that's bad thing, none! noms are good. Well it bt Don't get me started about why well just say that sometimes here you gotta get comfortably numb sure, because at least for me.
I try to be optimistic. You know, and whatever I write you know is not you know, I don't read death metal, that sort of thing I'd like to challenge. You know conventional ideas, but it's found in an assert, a certain sort of basic belief that there is a better nature somewhere, yeah and people yet yet we're going through times, which makes you really almost ashamed be a human being, and that's the hard part you know is to continue to search for that. You know, like you tell powder. Well, how do we justify ourselves right? You know and you through artisan, there's a purity to music that that enables that ability to trends. And no music video talking about music as if it's all the same is still the problem we are like. There is music, yet you know neo nazis like to listen to you.
there might be if you neo nazis it love, can we still be friendly even that in there tender moments, breaking down on the stand out of butter, but otherwise you know it's it's a chair. I to me it's a challenge. You know I stay in that group of hope. Yeah too, not just go out and writer records that you, u feckless, mother, I'm just so tired of looking for. What's a good and you hope it. Now you don't breaking care yeah, you know you're. angry of god, gimme a break yeah. Everybody gets an excuse to be angry, was that one of the reasons that you know why, because it seems to me that in most of your people, with this. In a lot of music there, for me even theirs. Ability there, that's that's their sensitivity, that's almost painful and in its part of
what I'm not saying that in a negative way- but I mean like It- seems like some of your stage- that is around vulnerability. Do you feel that I am not satisfied unless I feel like it's coming from a certain place, which is what makes it so hard to sing certain songs over and over and over and over again till you get that you get numb because yeah he get numb to it than the only we can get through. It is like an don't. torture self through the saw get up, and yet, as do the freakin song in right, There is something to be said for numbness centres. Focusing in oh yeah. Go number, don't lose focus. You have to be going somewhere. oh right and the way it out to talk about means. As as being why young, destructive and part of the problem that you, the song bang the drum all days, is- is asked to be considered a meme at this point
yeah it used to be an extremely lucrative mean. It's ok, we'll cruise liners started sink? It follows that it is the other three that is their themes on bulgaria and I'll have to change our image. I dont know what I think I like it. As long say that they have they always run on the radio or they play baseball games almost again anthem that some green bay packers. Do they it's down song yeah and it was for the rams for awhile. I don't know if it still is you know so that was for the mountains of people here at you'd. Think I'd be a rich man now the irony of of it is the reason why I don't really care that much yeah. I was making allow met the time which one I think it was ever popular, tortured artist effect as a right that no vaccine yet
and you know I was not happy with my label that hence the title. No witches that constantly hector you with expectations, yeah and don't see kind of what's what you've buried in there that they can kind of go and run with yet yo. They want their job to be really easy. So I was you know at that particular point. Little cynical about the whole process, and I just look at the arm is deliverable, but I came up with a few songs. You gotta right now still gonna write, so I came up with a few songs on when I get into that mona, especially when I'm in my ideal environment, which is alone, and sometimes I don't see people for day in Calais well nowadays, but that was recorded in make hollow whom the fifth edwards
color it sir upstate new york. It's a little beyond bears will yet it was at the very end of her. your arm, chair in your like, I got a service. No, I haven't the nut. Moron said: no, I don't give a crap or walk. You know. Alright, I'm just making a deliverable here ray or collect my money. It's on. They get and give me a deliverable, not try not to think about it too much yeah. But what happens is when the get into them. Out of writing. Sometimes I write subconsciously like most of my writing a subconscious and it will permeate every aspect of my life as long as I'm not disturbed by something, and so I will start to write song, so my sleep, And actually write them, they just come like completely written any wake up with them and go do that. I wake up and I have to remember them long enough to go to the rio and that sign a drum was just something that I dreamed.
Literally Actually, the way you hear the course leds exactly what I dreamed. I didn't have verses, yet I know how to build verses around right, but that course just came to me fully lies in that happens a lot in your life Only when I, when I the luxury, but I fully immersed in the process in that, but then it means not being disturbed by other people. In other words, for me see a lot of people I thrive on interaction with other people and they get a lot of inspiration from you know things to get input. Maybe during the course of the process, because they go into most people kind of go into the studio, they don't have a whole. You know, like twelve fifteen songs, done right or to go. What's with buying amount, yet not frank sinatra anymore, you know it's. You in the studio, something of a dragging things out process will forget it. mode where there is an area which is up.
the elaboration and right, where just internalization constant, incessant internalization. The only time you ve actually that noise levels now, you ve suddenly realized out. That's what I'm thinking we have all these only little details that are like right now it's flying around your head, all the time, yeah and you know a lot of people. Can you know somehow get to that space without having the solitude, but when I have the solitude that's kind of what happens, it becomes all about just making the music all the time, and song will come to me in my sleep and then I'll go and try and jot it down at a song. Come to me my I sleep when I was like in katmandu and I had to like visualize a piano in my head and teach myself how play it because I was nowhere near any way to record it I have to do that line night after night until got home like two months later,
courted honouring area became saw which are that was lost horizon. and then there was a song called. The waiting game was the most incredibly complex song that I ever dreamed and I can't fix how I am ever managed capture our arab, that's on nearly human, and that was Get you a boy you're our mind, you I was in the studio yeah. I dreamt. I was studio. producing manhattan transfer, I was a song they were saying was coming out of the speakers. Did you actually produce manhattan draft her? No, I think at one point eight. I was approached to do that through a dream. reducing gladden Traviata they covered one or two. My songs to when you did on like you'd You did a vulgar out like that. You must get archipelago, yeah yeah. So if you try to other things few so he's. Ok, I want one as I want to do with a marching band,
do. I need a well tusk came out and because it took didn't, loom off the roads and away I remember him- I'm wrong in this marie. I think when the first time ever remember listening to you was I forty five other, like a cover of good vibrations, is it possible that is possible like it was like paper? Equally, we produce yards in an elm called faithful, a half and it was done in a set, what was essentially the tenth year after I had light left, highschool became a professional musician and one side of it was a tribute to everything you would have heard Unlike nineteen sixty six, why what was coming radio or within the boutiques yeah yeah yeah, Ec store and add another step, so I picked out. I think I have a dozen songs that represented there,
right and made my own radio hookers. I didn't literally, as I could more or less as a homage. As an homage, but also it was like, as if you were listening to the radio in nineteen sixty six wow, what you might have heard, that was the yeah and you did it and then I did and others side of original songs, So that I remember having that forty five, sir now like are you exhausted? I easier? Is your cynicism, yo invading cause. I know you keep me, I mean you put out a record. Every euro must. Mentally, I'm not exhausted, be on the road is exhausting the have to do it. Sorry, We in britain logger managers- I know you are you- hurt all- is ready
I may be on the road works for me in a certain way you like, but the problem is. I have to gigs now release for the last four years here, which is whatever I do, as you know, as todd run grinned, and what do I do with Ringo and they all stars, which is at least two or three months a year, and some years has been more than has he done he soon great. As far as I know, I haven't seen him yet this weak and what happened with the other car thing. That was a that I was had there. Possibilities there. I think your approach by a couple of guys, I was approached by Elliot whom I knew yeah? So they approach me. I guess they approached a couple of people, but they thought it might work. We did a little bit of a run through and studio here in atlanta. We thought. Okay, let's give this a try, mall incorporate
it's the new cars rick would not let us use the cars as a name, so that hobbled things a little bit cause people are thinking uses the old cars are just a different job. Was he mad or chaotic? Was a mere year. Jealous tell us if it was, it's stephen colbert made a whole freaking riff about it, yeah something to do with something to do with moving into new cars and rico case iq. You know like trying to assassinate me or something I don't remember what it was, but it was pretty hysterical for a while to hear your name just pulled out of the blue, but you guys toured though we never you didn't hear this. I don't. I don't pay that much. We like you know we were so heavily invested in this finance. The whole thing on a giant merchandising advance.
We're about two two and a half weeks on the road? And I wasn't there at the time, because I was hanging out with my son in cleveland and was going to fly to the next gig, but the bus pulling The washington somebody some jerk off yeah yeah yeah, doesn't know he doesn't think of buses a big deal and pulls in front of the bus without signaling. The bus driver slams on the brake elliott has just woken up to go to the John yeah. He gets thrown against the bulkhead his collarbone. Oh he soldiers on four like another three gigs, but if you look at his to overhear, the bone is starting to my up The forgeries left hand, so the strap was on the other side, but eventually thy system. This is crazy, I have surgery, yeah yeah, and that was just the end of it and recuperation. So so, essentially, two and a half weeks into what was supposed to be like three months
during my now they are. I am lost all of our investment in everything. Sorry buddy boy, that's, That is why we are here now good and The one thing I didn't covered right place with me all the time, and I see it whenever icy elliot. You know we have got the oslo there's nothing. I mean between the guys in the band. There was never any sort of right. Why is it? Is bad luck, Bela, so I didn't ask you about that. Like you know, I listen to when I found out you produce at new york dolls first record. I listened to that a lot too. I really try identify because I talked to cover producers, and it seems like that you actually, when you do produce he likes guys like you and you can get in the way, but it seems like it. you actually make things clearer,
I feel ass. If ye as you do, what you have to do, it isn't like doing a certain thing right, cause every bans or every act. You know not always a ban, but they always comes to the studio. Was strengths and weaknesses and things you can count on things that maybe you know you're, not sure you can count on right like, for instance, the songwriting. Yet at a certain point, while up to a certain point, Well! If the band comes in the studio and they don't actually have the song rainy altogether, I will go strike for them now and then on my mac, usually well. I'd want get the record done. They get to get paid I know, but and if they don't have any other ideas yeah, you kind of have to do, but do do a lot of them. Go like oh shit. You made it better most of the time or is it most of the time like christ, wrong grin wants to. no if they have, if they have simply oil rather use www. I have, but they have nothing
that's the problem you got saw yell all the great cords, no lyrics right. You know somebody read some lyrics eventually to this year. and if you don't come up with some, you know you're going to get this done. So so you know, I mean example would be like remote control, the album that I took the first time I did with the tubes yeah lots and lots of great musical ideas, but no kind of overarching concept, so I kind of had to invent a lot of that for them and nobody's particularly bothered about that. You know I think, for them, being it still at the time, essentially a theatrical act. Yeah, you know, they're looking for music, too
turn into a show right and so there's not a whole lot of problem, especially on ghostwriting cause, I'm not taking any right of book written royalty. What about someone like asked? He see when you produce them they're, pretty together outfit together in the sense that yeah there's a lot of music to work with yeah there near iconic got lucky because I caught them at it. A point of vulnerability
already when I say they we mean Andy yeah, let's face it, it's a band, but essentially Andy was the one who called the shots most of the time, you're, probably the guy. That said to Colin, hey, let's make a band right and I was contacted by their label by the a and r man the label said. Well, you know the records have been selling less and less right and costing more and more. You know, and I knew about the band was a big fan of the band that I knew about their history and yeah. Why don't they ever perform wiles because Andy has debilitating a golfer
or something like that now you can't get states right can't play and also that he was notorious for driving his own producers. Out of the studio of what you, with his cause than sort of anal demand, yeah yeah lace, like that. You right, I mean eventually got another project you gotta do yeah can't makes a sound for another year right so I knew about the situation. I have been listening to their music anyway, before they even approach where your fan- I was a fair me out. I also knew what was wrong with the wreck yeah, because I was listening to that right. Essentially, What was wrong. Is it daddy had too much of a free hand
reason why any had too much of a free hand, or why is that so much time was being invested in these remixes, make sense because they never played live yeah once out was over. fun was done, you go home, you sit around until you come up with another problem right, unlike most musicians record will go out and play the regular supplies. so they might have a took forever or lease heated might have a took forever to make a record
You know I knew from listening the wreckers every getting more more anal. They were the sound of them. He was getting in a subjective sense, worse right, but for reasons I wouldn't be obvious to most people there's a thing called psycho acoustics, which has nothing to do with the actual music. This happening mere, but with the kind of stress that sound puts on you net. So, for instance, if you mix the vocals it just debt level, we can do kind to hear them cycle? Acoustically your squinting through the wreck, her right? Where am I gonna, hear that gap here? I am yeah right, you know and plus you know he's like
the process, usually, is you go in the studio, spend a day, mixing a song, you take it home, then you listen to it more yeah, y'all at least lets. You know essentially like Andy's process. Looking listening to it to see whether something else you can do to it right, he comes back the next day. He's got an idea for something else to do to it and usually what that is. to take out more air right to fill in some space with more sound yell. I don't think the high hat is like high enough. Let's make even higher. He rather is anal any has yet the maize is not like low enough. So you wind up with like, if you were look looking at it in on it Spectrometer me, I know you're spectrum analyzer right. It would be completely flat rate because I have recently in space is filled and bright with sound, and you don't realize how hard it is to listen to the near. You know cause your costs. We still it's raining yeah.
things out of there annual, and so they had completely lost track of that as well, and fortunately, as I say, I caught them vulnerable point. They didn't know exactly what to do I had gotten an ultimatum from the label, which record was a skylark in okay, so they had done like what three records. Oh no more than that oh yeah, so they were vulnerable than they were and they were. They were a little bit in trouble and vulnerable, and they just said they just sent me their song demos, and I listened to the songs and this whole idea of a song cycle came to me. You know that you could do make it all a piece like it's from dawn till dusk MIA. It could be ah a day or it could be a week or it could be a year can be a lifetime yeah. You know traveling through
while these phases, but it's coming from one place and going to another place yeah, and so I essentially took a real, a tape and I've done it. They did it before with realm with the tubes, where we kind of mapped everything out beforehand, mapped out. All the tempos came up with the running order before we ever recorded anything yeah and we think question was refining tempos. You know and then doing some overdubs slayings of stuff. We went to San francisco laid on all the drums and orchestra, and things like that. Right came back there, a few more. wilson woodstock, but essentially it was kind of preordained by me up right. The order, what the record s going to be right, which is something that they never had endured before yeah and were answer. They trusted you I think the sixty percent of the ban trusted me Mandy. Never trusted me,
They did it? Was you happy with the record initially? No, He went back to england immediately after we finished the record and did every took every press opportunity to say it was the worst record they ever made. He hated me at that point and he was willing to sabotage his own career through his vitriol yell over me, and the fact that I did not give up what I said I was going to do at the beginning of the record. I said I am going to be here at the end of the record I have driven these other producers off, I'm going to be here when this record is done, alright, yeah and lo and behold we got through three mixes yeah. I got back to my studio three mixes and they went home yeah. They went back to england yeah they were said, there was something wrong with the well worn. The whole thing
explain whatever you know, but in any case I've finished mixing, yelp myself without Andy ear. Without anyone looking over my shoulder and delivered the record and then what happened was, and it was perfect to that point- yeah. It was a perfect record. You know took it to great kalbi one of the world's premier masters sterling sound in new york, and we got the best master we could possibly get out of it. We delivered it a year a couple of weeks later, okay, we're going to change the running order of the record we're taking, dear god, off the record, we're going to take the hit record off the record right. That's Andy, that's andean is a unarmed man and he because he was afraid that you know he would like there would be repercussions personally for him for taking on such a thorny subject. What a pussy and then the eight hour man who didn't like because there was a child singing on it and he hated.
Children's fifty other recognised. So you had a fight that fight. Now I will I did see. I never do that. Yeah, I deliver the records, so I'm here to make the product you have to market the product and yeah. You figure that out right. What did you call him and said this is a mistake. You know to take this off to put on this other crappy song that Andy. made us record now than other satellite had nothing to do with the record at all. He made us essentially rerecord his demo note for note just a mollify and we did it. right, but the point is that nothing you do with a record right was not in the running order yet so he decided to durga off, so he could stick that stupid song on there yeah next thing. You know they put dear god on the b side of grass. Was sweet supposed to be the first single year? Everybody flips the record yeah, he, dear god, becomes like a giant phenomenon, saves their career. They have to go home, remaster the record again put dear god bank on it, your man
course he yeah! Well, while there were no other mixes or only changes and running or did he thank you know he did not what he did was he such as yeah? Ok, such a brass, even at his age, you such a Yes, that is decided that his campaign is the original record was not mastered properly and that there was something out of phase in the original record in these new vinyl releases of they've just come out with have fix. That Which is which is essentially him trying to impugn? Maybe not just me great talbot, one of the world's somebody who's mastered like every record you ever, Did they make a mess of it? I mean they reward. If there was some, I think there is, I think, is just as laid out o buried, nothing complete bullshit near. But if such a thing existed, because they change the running order. The reckon Henry master it
I wish I had nothing to do with. It has functioned ridiculous, a prick, or did you do? things happen in that thirty years since skylarking. That was your first, my god. Will you keep where you can? work and there's a you. What when was the full record, he put out called global a tight sorted I was in some of that, so I synthesizers almost dance music right, so there is a bit of idiom, but it isn't the Zt amazon one before yea and how those do for you. We had great shows yeah. But you know we're independently distributed now, so really, not like the good old days. Brighton. That's that's a new reality! Now selling recorded music people used to think that was what the hell. What music is? What the goal is here?
from an artist standpoint under that old commodities model. You know you're selling a thing we object to controlled, I'm buying Maria here gaffer. You know the artist him. If you ever recorded, I record, depending on the deal a guy could make Like five five library it hurts, it didn't make it. God knows you should run. Do you get in here? I don't. We even know what the terms of that are I guarantee you that original well, you know
do the old commodities mile? They are always so called material expense in the actual manufacturing of the product and the carding, the product to the retailers, the arrogant sold and stuff like that, and that was considered to be considerably significant aspect of the process, plus the label figures in our expertise in terms of promotion. The fact that, where bank for you now you know, we loan you money to make these projects and right and things like that. That justifies a major participation by us right. We should be able to take a lot of money back, but when they were issue, a record like rhine like who, whoever bought the rights to that material, because it too it's not the label anymore. Why? No? It isn't I'm trying to make the distinction between.
A commodity and serve sure mocha and what we have now, as you know, and what I've always believe was the proper mile is more of a service model music. As a service, you pay rhapsody ten dollars a month. He listened anything you want. The idea of ownership of music is, would never was real yale, you own a piece of plastic, but until you put it on the table, yeah they didn't have the value that the artist intended right, which was for you to hear it here. So beware: giant racks and racks vinyl didn't mean crap ragged yeah, ok, you got a thing but you're, not here in the meat sankey goliath thing the god playing out. So you know from that standpoint I am perfectly happy with the service smile, but were still in this phase, where it can figuring out how to compensate people for the service model is much easier to keep track of a thing when it is
its flying right through the air, and it's it's it's easier to to pirate bits. but also you know we're evaluating where the value is right in a lot of it the life reforming again right, as I say, the greatest He was alive for me ass. You know, whatever small percentage, twelve percent, if you're lucky it Michael Jackson, twenty percent may be of the recorded song. You get eighty percent of the ticket price right and it costs at least twice for a concert. Dig it out. So that's where your pay. I've always was right. The music is promotion and a lot of bands of sorry to realise the shirts, tee shirts or big t shirts, and if, u s, elsie cities at church date. Yet how many cities do think Jimmy buff itself not had his march stable man. It's exactly so yeah yeah bans like radio had they realises. You know me: I pay whatever you want for the
your download music and pay whatever you want, but they realize it. That's gonna encourage them to buy concert, tickets right and other merchant stuff like that. Now is very good. At the music recorded music was always promotion from lie, performance right, now ok, enclosing you weren't you, you produced a grand thanks, it's america, where an american bent down? Oh yes, it it was, was the cowbell your idea likely It more carbon or gab. Thanks, you're, talkin, tat, muffy pleasure wow right, good stories. Man he's these well prickly, but I enjoy talking to them for that Todd rundgren. It's always nice to have to sit as audience with a genius wtf pod dot com for all you've. Wtf pod needs get on the mailing list check my schedule, I'm going to be in mission. Creek festival
the english theater and I was sitting on April. Cocoa theatre was coco nebraska people night and harvest bank theatre at the midland went in kansas city Missouri unequal april at last. Heard that one's a little weak, willed slow so come on out. It doesn't matter to me if it's just me and you have fifty sixty a year in a place that seats However, many thousand you'll be interesting to be a little intimate and an end to be hard to transcend the weird sadness and absence of others, but day it will be an experience it. None of us will forget The the the
the Oh my.
Transcript generated on 2022-09-07.